Bryan Parkhurst Earns Excellence in Teaching Honors

Music theory professor contributed to key revisions to the conservatory curriculum.

May 17, 2023

Communications Staff

Bryan Parkhurst.
Photo credit: Tanya Rosen-Jones '97

Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Aural Skills Bryan Parkhurst was one of three Oberlin Conservatory faculty honored with an Excellence in Teaching Award for the 2021-22 academic year. The award, presented in spring 2023, recognizes faculty who have demonstrated sustained and distinctive excellence in their teaching.

Parkhurst is a key component of a music theory division that considerably broadened the scope of music studied by first-year students to extend far beyond the Western classical canon. Among the courses he teaches is Philosophical and Political Issues in Texted Music: Opera and Hip-Hop.

Parkhurst coedited the forthcoming book Perspectives on Contemporary Music Theory: Essays in Honor of Kevin Korsyn (Taylor & Francis, 2023), dedicated to the longtime music theorist at the University of Michigan, where Parkhurst completed twin master’s degrees and a PhD in music theory and philosophy—the first student in Michigan history to complete a joint PhD in both disciplines. He has long been fascinated by the writing of music theorist Heinrich Schenker and philosopher Immanuel Kant.

In addition to his work in the conservatory, Parkhurst teaches philosophy in the College of Arts and Sciences.

“Bryan Parkhurst is a scholar of extraordinary breadth, and our students in both the college and conservatory benefit from his expertise across disciplines,” says Dean of the Conservatory William Quillen. “His accolades within the disciplines of music theory and philosophy are richly deserved, as is this honor among Oberlin faculty.”

Each year, the conservatory honors three members of the faculty selected by the Conservatory Faculty Council. Joining Parkhurst with Excellence in Teaching honors for 2021-22 are Associate Professor of Music Theory Megan Kaes Long and Professor of Piano Dang Thai Son.

Learn about 2021-22 Excellence in Teaching honorees from the College of Arts and Sciences.

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